DOI: 10.1007/s00259-017-3698-0Pages: 1-9

The role of 18F-FDG PET/CT in the detection of osteosarcoma recurrence

1. University of Padova, Department of Orthopedics and Orthopedic Oncology

2. University of Bologna, Service of Nuclear Medicine, S.Orsola-Malpighi Hospital

3. Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Department of Chemotherapy

Correspondence to:
Francesco Ceci
Tel: +39 0512143178




The aim of this study was to investigate the diagnostic accuracy of 18F-FDG-PET/CT in osteosarcoma patients suspicious for disease recurrence after adequate surgical therapy.


Inclusion criteria were: a) adequate surgical treatment for proven osteosarcoma and documented complete remission after therapy; b) 18F-FDG-PET/CT performed during follow-up for clinical/diagnostic suspicion of relapse; c) new surgical treatment with excision of the suspected lesions; d) histological validation of 18F-FDG-PET/CT findings. Thirty-seven patients matching all inclusion criteria were retrospectively enrolled (20 men and 17 female). Primary surgical treatment consists of resection (31 cases) or amputation (six cases). 18F-FDG-PET/CT performance was assessed with a per-patient and per-site evaluation of sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive predicting value (PPV), and negative predicting value (NPV). The sites of relapse were classified as local, lung, lymphnodes (LNs), and distant (other skeletal segments and/or distant soft tissue). The disease-free survival (DFS) and the overall survival (OS) after 18F-FDG PET/CT were evaluated.


18F-FDG-PET/CT was positive in 89.2% (33/37) of patients. Local uptake only was observed in 35.1% patients (13/37); lung uptake only in 18.9% (7/37); distant uptake only in 2.7% (1/37) case; multiple sites of uptake in 32.4% (12/37). Histology resulted positive in 92% (34/37) of patients. A total of 51 pathologic lesions were evaluated (22 local relapse, 11 lung metastasis, 10 metastatic LNs, eight distant metastatic lesions). On a per-patient analysis 18F-FDG-PET/CT showed a sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, PPV, and NPV of 91%, 75%, 89%, 97%, 50%. On a per-site analysis the performance for local relapse was 96%, 100%, 97%, 100%, 93%, while for lung relapse detection was 80%, 100%, 92%, 100%, 88%. The mean follow-up after 18F-FDG-PET/CT was 21.5 months. At the last follow-up, 19% (7/37) of patients were death with disease, 38% (14/37) were alive with disease, and 43% (16/37) had no evidence of disease. Overall survival was 90% and 75% at 24 and 60 months, respectively.


18F-FDG-PET/CT showed valuable results for detecting recurrence(s) in osteosarcoma patients with suspicious of relapse after treatment, particularly in the detection of local relapse and lung metastasis.

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  • Accepted: Mar 28, 2017
  • Online: Apr 12, 2017

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